“How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” You know the old joke question; you know also the answer: “Practice, practice, practice!” I have found that in practice, however, for the talentless the N, Q, and R lines are a better bet. So it was the Subway Route that took me there on Monday night for the Carnegie Hall début of the new Salomé Chamber Orchestra.
A couple of subsequent pleasant experiences kept them in my mind; and my ears naturally pricked up when I heard that the three siblings, along with a group of other beautiful young people, were forming a chamber orchestra called Salomé, with David Aaron Carpenter as artistic director. Naturally I showed up for opening night at Carnegie Hall.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) and Joseph Martin Kraus (1756-1792)
Ordinarily I don’t like this mode (“the gorgonzola of wines,” “the Ghengis Kahn of Shakespeare Scholars”) of comparison, because one is never sure what is actually meant. And it can be worse. Recently someone assured me with a straight face that “the Alfa Romeo is the Rolls Royce of cars”. If you insist on using such comparisons, they should be reversible, and they rarely are. I attended a small liberal arts college in Tennessee, Sewanee. It was a good place, but its aspirations to excellence had seduced its more enthusiastic admirers to an uncautious bumper-sticker: “Sewanee: the Harvard of the South.” Then, over the years, I began to have commerce with people at or associated with Harvard University. Great was my disappointment to discover that not a single one of them thought of that institution as “the Sewanee of the North”. Even the movie Amadeus, which did everything in its power to turn Mozart into a twit, stopped short of turning him into “the Austrian Joseph Martin Kraus”.